Supporting Community-Oriented Educational Change


  • Linda Mabry Indiana University
  • Laura Ettinger Indiana University



Case Studies, Cultural Awareness, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Elementary Education, Heritage Education, History Instruction, Local History, Program Implementation, Rural Areas, School Community Relationship, Social Studies


A study of a federally funded program to develop and implement community-oriented social studies curricula and curriculum-based assessments grounds cautions for educational change initiatives. In this case, despite the project director's stated intent to support teachers' desire for instruction regarding local culture and history, top-down support for classroom-level change evidenced insensitivity. Production and implementation of the planned curricula and assessments was obstructed by teacher's lack of cultural identification with the targeted community groups, workload, competing instructional priorities, inadequate communication, and organizational politics. Professional development was sometimes beneficial but more often ineffective—either perfunctory, unnecessary, or disregarded. The findings offer insight regarding educational change and a systemic analysis.


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Author Biographies

Linda Mabry, Indiana University

Linda Mabry is an assistant professor of education at Indiana University where she teaches courses in program evaluation, performance assessment, and qualitative research methodology.

Laura Ettinger, Indiana University

Laura Ettinger is a doctoral student in Educational Policy Studies at Indiana University where she is researching the appliation of complex adaptive systems theory to public school change. She has taught courses in the foundations of education and combines interests in education policy and school reform with program evaluation.




How to Cite

Mabry, L., & Ettinger, L. (1999). Supporting Community-Oriented Educational Change. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 7, 14.